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‘Bring Back 49er Football’ faces many blockers

Marisol Aguilar, Staff Writer

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Cal State Long Beach might be one of the few CSU campuses to have a football team as early as 2012, at least that’s the mission of the “Bring Back 49er Football” organization.

Jason Aula, a senior finance major and founder of the organization, and his lead team members Courtney Day, a senior international studies major (co-founder), and Chris O’Brien, a junior communication major, are currently petitioning to bring back a football team to CSULB and have gathered more than 2,000 signatures. “Bring back 49er football” was officially established in March 2008 with hopes to bring back not only football, but also school spirit with it.

However, bringing back a football team is not as easy as it sounds. It takes a lot of time and a lot of money.

“There is a whole load of things that go into deciding to bring back a football team,” Day said.

First of all, there is the need for students to support the idea, take it to the student body personnel, take it to the student fee advisory committee, finally turn it into a referendum and get it in the ballot for students to vote on. Secondly, the cost would be anywhere from $2 million to $8 million, according to Aula, who obtained his information from Georgia State University, which recently brought back their football team.

But according to Vic Cegles, director of athletics at CSULB, it would take approximately $15 million just to bring back football.

The high cost of football is because there are a lot of components to it. A team consists of about 80 members. There is the need for equipment, coaches, a marching band, academic counselors and much more. Also, in order to comply with Title IX regulations, which is an education amendment to provide equality to women in sports, there would be the need to add two more women’s sports.

“Women’s rowing and a women’s field hockey team would be added in order to meet these regulations,” O’Brien said.

But it’s not as easy as it sounds because this as well takes a lot of time and money.

“The cost gets compounded when you have football,” Cegles said.

And lastly, where would the football team practice and play? “We don’t even have a stadium,” Cegles said.

Students would have to pay for the football program. Tuition would be increased by $70 to $85 per semester, according to Aula’s organization.

“It might be a high fee for some but it’s going to benefit students,” Aula said. “USC and UCLA have better departments because the alumni donate fat checks.”

Also, it would benefit Long Beach because residents would be attracted to the football games bringing in revenue to CSULB, according to O’Brien.

“People would pay for parking, for the game and for food in concession stands,” says O’Brien.

The organization also stresses that it would increase the value of students’ degrees.

“Academically we are up with USC, but the fact that they have football increases their degree value,” Aula said.

However, many students seem to disagree with the idea that a football team is needed.

“I think it’s a good idea, it would bring Beach pride,” said Karina Gonzalez, a sophomore art major. “However, these are hard economic times we are facing and not everyone would be able to pay,”

Neal Schermesser, a sophomore civil engineer major, said that he too likes the idea “but with the economic crisis there are more important things to focus on than a football team.”

International students like Karan Sharma, a graduate student, said that it’s not a necessity.

“As an international student I pay more than enough,” Sharma said.

In spite of the fee, there are students who concur with the idea.

“I think it would be good, the fee is not so much and there’s no other sport like football,” said Yolanda Elam, a sophomore criminal justice major.

Maverick Zamora, a junior communicative disorder major, also supports bringing back football.

“It would be nice because other colleges have it and tuition is pretty cheap, comparably,” Zamora said.

Associated Students Inc. Senate recently created a “Football Exploratory Committee.” The three ASI representatives that sit on that committee are vice president Christopher Chavez, Sen. Jeff Yutzrzenka, who authored the bill to create the committee, and Sen. Piero Sandoval.

“We are currently looking at possibly meeting next week,” Chavez said.

Back in 1991 CSULB saw its last football season when George Allen, head coach, suddenly died. Beach football died as well, mainly because of a budget crisis that left no money for a football team and also because there was lack of student support for the team.

“We believe that apathy no longer exists in todays climate,” states bringback49erfootball.com, a website created by Aula and Day, encouraging students to support and bring back football to the beach.

“We are the third largest university in California with 38,000 students we should have a football team,” O’Brien said. “It would definitely add school spirit.”

However, if the Beach Legacy Referendum passes this March, it would increase the chance of football making it back to CSULB, according to Cegles and the organization.

The BLR would increase tuition by a $95 fee per semester, but it would go to improve athletics facilities. It will include three synthetic grass turf lighted fields, a renovated aquatic department and a 5,000-seat lighted stadium that will have a new track, locker rooms and showers for women’s soccer and for the baseball team.

“I don’t think football will pass without the BLR passing first,” Day said.

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22 Comments

22 Responses to “‘Bring Back 49er Football’ faces many blockers”

  1. Llaura on February 24th, 2009 3:19 am

    Not going to happen. As much as I would love a football team at CSULB, it’s not going to cost student approximately $75-85. And if you think about it, the minimum that we would get from students is not going to be enough to make us a “competitive team.” Its a nice dream to have, but its not going to happen now. And I wonder if the 2,000 students who ‘signed’ the petition are aware of Title IX and other issues that we’ll have to deal with if football is initiated again. And the Beach Referendum is to improve what we have and to ensure that our collegiate teams will become as competitive as possible. The Beach Referendum is to ensure that current facilities are up to par with standards compared to related universities and programs. The Beach Referendum is not a fee to bring back the football team. It is a fee that is dedicated to the current programs that we have that desperately needs the financial support.

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  2. csulb landlord on February 24th, 2009 3:38 am

    Hey, while we’re spending money that doesn’t belong to us, why not build a ski slope and a luge run? Bring back winter sports to “increase the value of students’ degrees” Future employers will say, “I’m going to hire you because you graduated in the class of DUMB ASSHOLES ’09.”

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  3. stop the madness on February 24th, 2009 3:53 am

    Why not have the “alumni donate fat checks” to bring back football? Somebody check the 2,000 signatures Aula collected and probably 1,000 resemble his handwriting. Cegles won’t stop with the BLR. Academics are only a sideline to athletics for an athletics director. Somebody needs a reality check. Tackle these referendums before we’re pulverized into the astro turf. Stop using playbooks to empty my wallet, please.

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  4. DL on February 24th, 2009 12:04 pm

    Even UCLA has a hard time attracting recruits because of USC. What makes Aula think we can do any better? What conference would we play in? Any attempt to bring back football at the Division I Football Bowl Subdivsion level would just have us taking trips to the Coliseum and Gainesville to get curb-stomped by the likes of USC and Florida. I’d rather focus our resources into trying to turn our men’s basketball team into the next Gonzaga.

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  5. GO BEACH on February 24th, 2009 12:08 pm

    Good thing that you brough that up, Llaura. Yes on the BLR, no on football. Hopefully people don’t mistakenly believe that one will lead directly to the other.

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  6. amanda c on February 24th, 2009 12:46 pm

    What people do not seem to be realizing is that it will take time time build up a team. Even if we get a team together in the next few years, it might take a few more years to get really good…but it will be worth it. I think too many people want a good football team next year, and we all know that will not happen; but if you give them five or so years, I am positive we would be able to compete with the likes of USC.
    While I hate to say it, in the “real” word (ie life after college) college football is huge! So what Aula said about a football team increasing the value of a degree of CSULB is absolutely true. While some of the other commenters of this article have been extremely childish on the issue, almost everyone else knows that it is true. If you have a football team, then it is more likely that people will know your school.
    While I hate paying the high tuition, I would gladly pay a little extra to be able to turn on the television and see LBSU/CSULB playing a game on Thanksgiving Day. Especially if they win! ^-^

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  7. Your name on February 24th, 2009 1:07 pm

    CSULB has some very talented and competitive athletes. In the 2008 Olympics we had something like 9 alumni that came back with medals, including Misty May (she’s the hot one if you can’t keep track). Our volleyball, track, and basketball teams are very competitive. But nobody pays any attention to them because they aren’t football. I’ve heard the same sentiment from professors who have come here from other universities that do have a football team. As for increasing the value of a degree, it probably would – if we actually won anything. That said, I don’t think the school (or students) has an extra $15 million to spend on this.

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  8. Jason Aula on February 24th, 2009 2:11 pm

    According to my research I would have to strongly disagree with Mr. Cegle’s financial forecast. I have detailed financial reports from UNC and Georgia State that are available to be produced that show the ACTUAL cost is not 15 million.

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  9. Edward on February 24th, 2009 5:33 pm

    I graduated from CSULB in 1987 when we actually had a footbal team. The Beach played home matches at LBCC’s Veteran’s Stadium, barely averaging 6,000 fans per home contest. Long Beach State now has a competitive men’s basketball team but has rarely sold out the Walter Pyramid. The value of my degree can be enhanced by investing in the quality of instructors, infrastructure, academic programs, as well as providing maximum funding for athletic teams with proven success: Women’s/Men’s Volleyball, Baseball, Men’s/Women’s Basketball, Women’s Soccer and Tennis.

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  10. Give it up on February 24th, 2009 5:40 pm

    Here’s why we’ll never have football:

    “Football Bowl Subdivision teams have to meet minimum attendance requirements (average 15,000 people in actual or paid attendance per home game), which must be met once in a rolling two-year period.”

    http://www.ncaa.org/wps/ncaa?ContentID=418

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  11. Your name on February 24th, 2009 7:32 pm

    We can have a national championship Men’s Basketball team without a new women’s soccer stadium (remember we don’t have a men’s soccer team). Cegles already gave an underhanded indication that the BLR is just breaking the tip of the iceberg and that athletics isn’t quite done with sucking the life out of student economies. “However, if the Beach Legacy Referendum passes this March, it would increase the chance of football making it back to CSULB, according to Cegles and the organization” There is never enough for an ambitious athletics director. Guaranteed, student fees to support athletics will surpass tuitions within ten years at this pace. And our degrees will be worth exactly the same. The value of the degree is not decided by what SOMEBODY ELSE does on the field but by what YOU do in the classroom!!!

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  12. jason aula on February 24th, 2009 10:39 pm

    with stronger athletic programs universal alumni donations will increase. meaning when people are prood and happy about their university they want to donate more money.

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  13. Your name on February 24th, 2009 10:46 pm

    What’s hard to wrap my brain around is that Jason Aula, the president of the CONSERVATIVE STUDENT UNION, wants to TAX students to SPEND on football. I thought TAX and SPEND was a liberal plan. Go figure that Aula’s fan base is so small. During his campaign for ASI vice president last year he promised to bring back 49er football by charging students $10 per semester, but now he proposes to do it for “70 to $85”. I hope his business and econ professors check his homework because he obviously doesn’t do it. Jason, what is the difference between $70 per semester times 36,000 and $85 per semester times 36,000? It seems like you left a lot of wiggle room on that one chump. I presume you’re using the same calculator the BLR team is using. It’s nice to be generous with money you won’t have to cough up, isn’t it? Vote HELL NO on the BLR or prepare to open the flood gates.

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  14. Your name on February 24th, 2009 10:55 pm

    If you want the true meaning of the value of your degree, read “Edward” from the class of ’87. This obviously is somebody who knows how his degree was enhanced, in the classroom. Sports is a great diversion and a wonderful form of entertainment, but what are we in college for? Football is the least of our concerns and is only a distraction to make the BLR look less ominous. The truth is that this is not a student referendum, it comes from administration, unless some visionary student had a calling “Ohmmmmm, I think we should suck money from education and invest it in sports, Ohmmmm.” Then all of a sudden, the BLR appeared out of the blue. It came with its own title and public relations plan. Tiny little minds should not practice groupthink without protection.

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  15. Yee Haw on February 24th, 2009 10:58 pm

    Will the “locker rooms and showers for women’s soccer and for the baseball team” be co-ed? Wooo frickin’ Hoooo!!!! I’m going to try out for the Dirtbags. That’s much better than watching games at the Nugget.

    [Reply]

  16. la raza spirit on February 25th, 2009 12:51 am

    Will Jason Aula put an illegal immigrant dodgeball court near the football locker room? I’m sure he’ll want Jimmy Gilchrist to be the first head coach. The team could be called the CSULB Minutemen.

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  17. Joel Hawes on February 25th, 2009 2:31 am

    Everyone not involved in sports as an athlete or fan bashes the BLR. Should we sit here and bash the 105 million dollar PH3 replacement just because we’re art majors? When Business Dept needs something new, do science majors get up and rally against that? No. Athletics are a big part of the Long Beach State history and a big part of the school now. It does bring recognition. A football team would bring a lot more as well. This may not happen anytime soon but think of the most popular schools. UCLA has a football team, USC has a football team, UC Berkeley has a football team, so does Stanford. Harvard, Yale and Vanderbilt have programs as well. With the campus we have, we would not get 50k people per game, but the only schools that get that have long a long football tradition and history. None of them had 50k the first year they offered football. We would not be playing USC and Florida and those likes anytime soon, we’d probably in a league with Sac State or Cal Poly, where we’d be competitive.
    How can you bash Jason Aula for putting together an idea, doing some research and making some estimates? The school would obviously put together a team to explore these and set up a plan. Once the football team became established and we built a bigger alumni base, we could start to recieve these “fat checks”. Thats just how it works.
    And people that always complain about money: you go to the cheapest CSU campus in the state already and get they best education for it. If you want a super cheap education without any of the other aspects of the college experience, go to a community or junior college. Tuition is going up one way or the other, thats what happens when the school lets too many people in. Or the state could keep all the CSU funding and take it away from hospitals? No, bad idea. Just vote for the BLR, it frees up 1.6 million dollars per semester for Academic purposes. Or you could vote down the BLR, and the CSU board could increase tuition anyways.
    And for the record I’m not bashing the PH3 building because I’m a bio major, and i support improvements to other parts of the school, because it is a school as a whole, and that will increase the value of everyones degree.

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  18. Christopher Poole on February 25th, 2009 3:12 am

    Wow, it seems like there are a lot of blockers against 49er football, including most of the users commenting here.

    [Reply]

  19. help them on February 25th, 2009 11:49 pm

    Joel Hawes, aka Jason Aula the troll: All of the examples you use, i.e. the PH3 building, etc., are state owned property paid for by taxpayer dollars. It might be another part of the money shuffle game, but the funding is dispersed across a wider economic base. The BLR is to be paid exclusively by students–students who are still in high school or community college and have no voice as to how their money will be spent.

    The universities you use as a comparison are not only well established institutions, they are private institutions (except UCLA and Berkeley) with alumni bases built upon academics long before they introduced sports. That’s a straw man argument, as are all of the other fallacious examples. “That’s how it works”? You are most definitely irresponsible and have no tru business savvy. Harvard, Yale, et al, did not start a football team and then post-haste decide, “Oh, how about we toss in some learnin’ too.” To claim that the $1.6 million is “freed” up by increasing student fees by @ $6 million per anum is nothing more than believing that if you click your heels together three times you will end up in Kansas, Dorothy. Why not have an “Educational Legacy Referendum” that gives the $6 million to academics–the true purpose of the college experience–and let athletics use the ‘free’ $1.6 million? That would parallel our current President’s (Obama) call to practice fiscal responsibility to ensure that our future children have a chance to acquire an affordable and meaningful education. I agree with “Your name Tue Feb 24 22:55” “Tiny little minds should not practice groupthink without protection.”

    The ones pushing this BLR need to back away from the crack pipe and quit trying to figure out ways to spend other people’s money. Sadly, the ones who will vote on this will be long gone by the time the bill hits the mailboxes of tomorrow’s students and their families.

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  20. Dave on March 3rd, 2009 5:00 pm

    Football = $$$$$$$. Everybody wins, except those who like to be miserable.

    [Reply]

  21. Touchdown on April 13th, 2010 7:00 pm

    Most of these posters are unable to see the big picture. A football program at Long Beach will greatly enhance everybody, students, alumni, community… I know it’s a long shot, everybody should be behind this.

    [Reply]

  22. KM on October 4th, 2014 10:29 pm

    Bring back football.. Having a football team adds school spirit, and alot of pride in your school. There is nothing more exciting than friday night football games. Specially college level. It gives students something to get excited about, and something to do until basketball and baseball season start. I dont understand how the people who are soo pro basketball, can be soo anti football. I, as a parent of a CSULB student, wouldnt mind paying the extra money for tuition, to have a football team. How sad that the football coach passed away, because if he were still here, i am possitive so would the football team. I sure hope people vote to start football back up..

    [Reply]

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